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By FREEMUSICEMPIRE is a place for in depth musical discussion with important voices from hip hop, soul, jazz and so forth. Hosted by Dan-O.
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State of The Game Vol. 103-Mourning Music with Myles Bullen
ATTENDEES Myles Bullen, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk about the process of creating Mourning Travels and the events that went into it. Discuss sequencing, guests, and overall tone of the album. What the experience is supposed to give the listener. Intro and Outro by Ohbliv from the Rugged Tranquility series here. 
June 26, 2022
Dan O sits down with one of the hottest underground producers, MIGHTYHEALTHY, and finds out his first beat is on this new album MIGHTYCANNONS with ACE CANNONS. This album is so loud and so fun it deserves the depth and joy in this conversation. Enjoy and buy a sticker pack for the little dun's.
June 24, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 102-Charting Course with Stik Figa
ATTENDEES Stik Figa, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney New Business Talk to Stik Figa about the necessary elements of altering direction over the course of a long career and how it changes over time. Talk specifically about moving from his 2021 album Joyland to 2022’s Heresy. Intro and outro bumper music by Ohbliv off his album Ohblique 
June 20, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 101-Wide World of Old Grape God
ATTENDEES Old Grape God, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk to Old Grape God about being prolific (34 albums!) and creative at the same time. A lot of prolific artists stop experimenting and just stay in a zone. How does OGG define and redefine his musical world being this productive and creative. Talk about HOME [sic] in detail and how its reception has been. Intro and Outro bumper music by Ohbliv off his new project CALEA Z II 
June 12, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 100-FAVORITE VERSES w/PenPals & others
ATTENDEES PenPals, Zilla Rocca, PremRock, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk about some of the most important things we’ve learned talking to artists, producers, journalists, and fans about music over these hundred episodes. Reveal the sick artwork Dan commissioned for State of The Game!(Keith has not seen it)  Celebrate our favorite rap verses new and old. These can be verses that shaped our understanding of what rap verses should be or just the hottest bar work we’ve heard.
June 06, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 99-Realism in MOOR Chores w/ Lord Kayso
ATTENDEES Lord Kayso,Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk to Lord Kayso about the vision behind MOOR CHORES and crafting it into a personal journey. Discuss the reception and connection it’s having with listeners and how many people identify with the stories within it. Intro and Outro music by Ohbliv from the album Spirit Medicine.
May 29, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 98-Degrees of Listenability
ATTENDEES Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk about how important it is for an artist to curate the listenability of their projects and what can go wrong if that is out of sync. As a way to discuss this: analyze 2 Chainz-Dope Don’t Sell Itself, Saba-Few Good Things, and Ivy Sole-candid. Intro and Outro music is by Disco Vietnam from the House Rabbi series:
May 22, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 97-Best First Songs w/ Andrew
ATTENDEES Andrew, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk to Andrew about his follow up to 2021’s Pop 1967, The Rain Knows What It’s Doing which came out on Three Dollar Pistol (Zilla Rocca’s label). How has his production evolved? What was the goal of this album and how does the first song (Don’t Let It Get You Down)further that? Talk about what we want from a first song and provide examples of songs that achieve those goals. Intro and Outro music by Disco Vietnam off House Rabbi Vol. 2-Double Chai Chambers
May 16, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 96-Label Legacy: Chong Wizard Records w/ Chong Wizard
ATTENDEES Chong Wizard, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk to Chong Wizard about his personal growth as a producer from Midnight Sons w/ Zilla Rocca to The Colors I’ve Never Seen with Nate Barksdale. Discuss the foundational elements of Chong Wizard Records and how they developed. Intro and outro music from Chong Wizards album Blessing Season-
May 08, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 95-January Heat with Fleetwood Deville
ATTENDEES Fleetwood DeVille, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business Talk to Fleetwood DeVille about Next Love Day and his collaboration with Grindstone Rye & Wine. These 2021 albums are so different from one another, how was the approach built for each? Analyze strengths and opportunities within 2022 releases: Sick! By Earl Sweatshirt, Piece of Me by Lady Wray, and Food For Thought by Che Noir.
April 29, 2022
FME Attention Undivided-SolarFive
One of the illest conversations in the history of the series, SolarFive frankly discussed his evolution in multiple musical spaces. Iceberg Theory popped in and added the producer perspective as their newest release Momento Mori deserves accolades and analysis. From the murmur flow to life being more hardcore than any rapper, this talk is fluid fun but dead serious. Intro is 'Maelstorm' Outro is 'The Wise Men of Chelm' both by Disco Vietnam off House Rabbi Vol. 8
April 23, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 94-Canon-dates 2011 w/ AJ Suede
ATTENDEES AJ Suede, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Discuss the new release Metatron’s Cube by AJ Suede and Televangel. How does AJ Suede view it within his discography? Each party selects 3 albums from 2011 as potential canon-dates. Via discussion of the albums we thin down to 1 album per person. Intro is 'Fire in The Hole' and outro is 'Prism' both by Disco Vietnam from House Rabbi Vol. 8
April 23, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 93-Second Hand Accounts with Bloodmoney Perez and Defcee
ATTENDEES Defcee, Bloodmoney Perez, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk about the construction of Second Hand Accounts and the songs that define it. Talk to Defcee and Bloodmoney Perez about why collaborating with Messiah Musik is so special and his rise in music. intro and outro music by Disco Vietnam from House Rabbi 7
April 17, 2022
State of The Game Vol.92-East Hampton Polo Boys Winter Catalogue w Panels
ATTENDEES Panels, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business ● Talk to Panels about the formation of East Hampton Polo Boys and what it meant to him as well as Scorcese. ● Talk about what the intentions were on Winter Catalogue v. Summer  ● Talk in detail about the strengths and importance of hip hop smacktalk.
April 08, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 91-Council of The Gods
ATTENDEES Five Steez, The Sickest Drama, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business ● Talk about the formation of The Council of The Gods and what each member brings. ● Discuss Quietude, Element of Surprize, Trilogy and future plans in depth.
March 30, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 90-Best Sequenced Rap Albums Ever f. Career Crooks
ATTENDEES Zilla Rocca, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk about the mission for the new album Never At Peace and the reaction it has gotten. Discuss the importance of album sequencing. Intro bumper is the title track of Never At Peace. Outro is Dame Dash Taught Me. Buy Never At Peace here:
March 26, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 89-AOTY 2021 25 - 1 w/ GENG PTP
ATTENDEES GENG PTP, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business Go over top 25 albums of 2021 highlighting what separated these projects from others. Each of us should talk about something we’d like to see more of in 2022 music. NOTES 1.Ka-A Martyr’s Reward 2. Little Simz-Sometimes I Might Be Introvert 3. Sault-Nine 4. Curly Castro-Little Robert Hutton 5. Isaiah Rashad-The House is Burning 6. Armand Hammer x Alchemist-Haram 7. Raquel Rodriguez-Sweet Side 8. PremRock-Load Bearing Crow’s Feet 9. Bruiser Wolf-Dope Game Stupid 10. Shannon and The Clams-Year of The Spider 11. I Self Devine-Rituals of Resilience 12. Cleo Sol-Mother 13. Mach-Hommy-Pray For Haiti 14. Defcee x Messiah Musik-Trapdoor 15. Lukah-When The Black Hand Touches You 16. Janette King-What We Lost 17. Sleep Sinatra x Ed Glorious-Sleep Gloriously 18. Big Flowers-Big Smile 19. Lady Blackbird-Black Acid Soul 20. Pop 1967 by Andrew 21. Jason Griff x Alaska Atoms-Human Zoo 22. Teller Banks x Ed Glorious-The Part & Parcel 23. Aaron Lee Tasjan-Tasjan!Tasjan!Tasjan! 24. Dave-We’re All Alone in This Together 25. Jazmine Sullivan-Heaux Tales Intro and Outro music by Disco Vietnam off House Rabbi 2: Double Chai Chambers
March 20, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 88-AOTY 2021 50-26 w/ GENG PTP
ATTENDEES GENG PTP, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk with GENG PTP about the year in PTP: Lungs, Phiik & S!lence, and the art of showcasing young talent. Discuss Dan’s AOTY list picks 50-26. Instead of honorable mentions let’s shout out the inventive albums that set the tone for this year. NOTES 26. NCL-™ x DooF-Swamp Phonk 27. Lukah-Why Look Up, God’s in The Mirror 28. Cities Aviv-The Crashing Sound of How It Goes 29. Nappy Nina, J Words-Double Down 30. AJ Suede-Avada Kedavra 31. Kacey Musgraves-Star-Crossed 32. King Micah The Infamous, MIGHTYHEALTHY-KINGMIGHTY 2 33. Zilla Rocca-Vegas Vic 34. La Luz-S/T 35. Amani-A Constant Condensation 36.Tanya Morgan - Don and Von 37.Moor Mother-Black Encyclopedia of The Air 38.Brijean-Feelings 39. IAMGAWD & Doc Da Mindbenda-Hell’s Angels and Heaven’s Demons 40.ChumZilla & Scorcese(Sons of Andre)-Dungeons of Doom 41.Tyler, The Creator-Call Me If You Get Lost 42. Mick Jenkins-Elephant In The Room 43. Helado Negro-Far In 44.Wally Clark-Banned From All Bars 45.Maxo Kream-Weight of The World 46.Navy Blue-Navy’s Reprise 47.Lil Nas X-Montero 48.DAWN-Second Line 49.Esther Rose-How Many Times 50.Juga-Naut x Giallo Point-Smoke Filled Room
March 18, 2022
From The Desk of Darko The Super
Darko The Super came through to play some jams!  Buy his new album with Height Keech called You Gotta Have Friends 
March 13, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 87-Production Trends w/ Timepiece & MIGHTYHEALTHY
ATTENDEES Timepiece, MIGHTYHEALTHY, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business Talk about the Good, Bad, and The Ugly of production in hip hop this year. Talk about how things might change in the coming year. NOTES What sounds worse in 2021 a boring pop rap beat or a boring underground rap beat? Why? What 2021 album's production shocked you most on the first listen? Who was the most ripped off(emulated if we are being nice)  producer this year? Drums! Not enough? Too much? Why are we always arguing about drums? Intro and Outro bumper music are songs 4(Channukah II) and 3(Stannis) off House Rabbi Vol. 3-Aztec Synagogue:
March 09, 2022
FME Attention Undivided-Brainorchestra
One of the most important producers of 2021 Brainorchestra's new album Big Brain stars him as primary voice, producer, as well as mixing and mastering. It's an effort worthy of in depth conversation and Dan-O digs in on the process results and journey along the way.
March 05, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 86-Music In All Directions w/ SonRaw
ATTENDEES SonRaw, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business Talk to SonRaw about the album Trilogy by Council of The Gods. How he became involved with producing and rapping on it. Talk about Silk Sonic-An Evening with Silk Sonic, Jedi Mind Tricks-The Funeral and The Raven, and Fielded-Young Medusa. How do these albums speak to (or in opposition to) trends in 2021 music? Intro and Outro are from Disco Vietnam's album House Rabbi Vol. 3: Aztec Synagogue-
March 03, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 85-NCL-TM & DøøF & A New Phonk w/ Big Flowers
ATTENDEES Big Flowers, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Discuss the progression over two projects by NCL-TM & DøøF: Hoodrat Noir to Swamp Phonk. ● Discuss the changing nature of the album, song lengths, total run times and the difference sequencing makes.
February 24, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 84-What Makes An Album DARK? w/ Sleep Sinatra
ATTENDEES Sleep Sinatra, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business ● Talk to Sleep Sinatra about the rollercoaster year he has had and the steps up in acclaim under Sleep Gloriously & DIVINENATION. ● Discuss what makes an album “dark” and the right way to ingest it.  ● Analyze Lukah-Why Look Up, God’s In The Mirror and Redman-Dare Iz A Darkside to discuss dark albums now and in the 90s era. Intro and Outro bumper music by NCL-TM. Purchase his music here: 
February 18, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 83-New Dynamics in Flow
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Flow changes in rap the way human language changes. It never stops changing. By the time a new cadence, flow, or vocal inflection gets deemed “not hip hop” it’s already running the charts. Let’s talk about how flow has changed generally over these years from pop rap to underground. ● Discuss Teller Bank$-The Part & Parcel as well as L’esprit by ToBy and how they relate to 2021 flow. Intro and Outro bumper music is by NCL-TM from the album Rocinante, purchase that here:
February 07, 2022
FME Attention Undivided-Raphy
Freemusicempire 2021 MVP Raphy of BRUISER BRIGADE came on for a full length sit down. An incredible journey from DJ to top producer, Raphy talks about the different ways the Brigade works and how these game changing albums (Dope Game $tupid & Santa Barbara) came together. His joy and passion is infectious so GET SOME!  Intro and Outro bumper is from the album Swamp Phonk by NCL-TM and DøøF.  Listen to it here:
February 05, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 82-Women in Hip Hop: Left Eye with Kathy Iandoli
AGENDA New Business ● Talk to Kathy Iandoli about her 2019 book God Save The Queens and 2021 book Baby Girl: Better Known as Aaliyah. We should ask her perspective on how the rules of engagement have changed for women in hip hop’s public space. ● Discuss the only released solo album from Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. What could her career have been if this got a US release in 2001-2002? What should her artistic legacy be? Intro and outro music is by NCL-TM (Captain and Chandler from the album Morgan)
February 02, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 81-Underrated Women in Hip Hop: Queen Herawin
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Talk about Metamorphosis the 2015 album by Queen Herawin in terms of strengths and importance. Why should someone who has never heard this, listen? ● Discuss anyone in 2021 who might be influenced or carrying the same energy forward. Intro song is Slime Outro song is Mia both by NCL-TM off his album Pussy Galore. 
January 23, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 80-Get Rich or Die Tryin w/ Call Out Culture
AGENDA New Business ● Celebrate Call Out Culture, talk about specific episodes that were benchmarks in visibility/audience building. The necessary change where rappers get to talk about music and make it, how that has affected their careers. ● Talk about 50 Cent’s 2003 album Get Rich or Die Tryin’. Some people say it is a classic album, others say it has the best hooks in rap. Cutting through nostalgia and marketing...what is it really? QUESTIONS ● Did 50 Cent’s relationship with Eminem change Em for the worse? ● Did 50 Cent really devour and inhabit what Ja Rule was doing while mocking it? ● Did 50’s ascension have long term negative effects on NY Rap? ● When 50 went Diamond, he appeared to be in line to be THE GUY. It didn’t stick, why? ● What is the most embarrassing part of the 50 Cent experience(as a fan of rap)? INTRO AND OUTRO BUMPER MUSIC BY NCL-TM from his newest project OUROBOROS
January 17, 2022
State of The Game Vol. 79-Sons of Andre w/ ChumZilla
ATTENDEES ChumZilla, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Talk to ChumZilla about how the concept for Sons of Andre came together and how he adjusted after the loss of Scorcese. ● Look at Sons of Andre-Dungeon of Doom as a project. What are the best parts of it? What is the legacy of Scorcese and Insubordinate Records?
January 05, 2022
FME Attention Undivided-PremRock
Dan-O from Freemusicempire got to talk to the artist who constructed his favorite album of 2021. Premrock achieved another level of personal best with his project Load Bearing Crow's Feet. Before talking about the album Dan-O discusses the relationships and lessons learned that got Prem where he is. Talking to Premrock makes you feel smarter!
December 26, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 78-Leave Them Wanting More w/ Rich Jones
ATTENDEES Rich Jones, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business ● Talk to Rich Jones about his EP Blue Beach, following up his last LP How Do You Sleep At Night? What is the best case scenario for an EP release? ● Analyze Blue Beach by Rich Jones, Monk by GreenSLLIME, and If Orange Was A Place by Tems. Do they leave you wanting more from the artist?
December 23, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Fielded
A one of a kind talent leapfrogging between genres and expectations Fielded has created a unique position for herself on Backwoodz Studioz alongside underground raps most ferocious names. Fielded's newest release Young Medusa is completely different from past work but as Dan-O discussed with her, she is used to that and we should be as well. This interview is 120% of expectations.
December 18, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 77-Release with IMPACT!
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Define “impact” and talk about the different ways an artist can create “impact” for their release (shock, agitation, secrecy, innovation).  ● Discuss whether Lil Nas X-Montero and Moor Mother-Black Encyclopedia of The Air deliver on the impact they made for their audiences.
December 15, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 76-Positioning A Great Voice
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Talk about three releases: Lady Blackbird-Black Acid Soul, Kacey Musgraves-Star-Crossed, and Yebba-Dawn in terms of executing an important album with a great voice. ● Discuss how other elements (writing, instrumentation, song/album themes) get conducted around a show stopping voice. What do these albums do well or miss?
December 09, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 75-Drake and Little Simz and the mythology of artistic obligation
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Discuss the reception and reaction around major releases this year including Donda and Certified Lover Boy. Beyond whether the albums have been up to par, fan reaction to these releases seems utterly broken. What do you people actually want? ● Talk about the specifics of Little Simz-Sometimes I Might Be Introvert and Certified Lover Boy. What are the strengths and opportunities for each album?
December 02, 2021
State of The Game BONUS-R.I.P. Young Dolph & Benny signs to Def Jam
A free flowing conversation about Young Dolph, capitalism, the justice system, as well as Griselda in present and future.
November 27, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 74-ONE Producer ONE Emcee featuring Defcee
ATTENDEES Defcee, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Talk about what makes one emcee one producer albums special. Ceenick and We Dressed The City In Our Names are good examples, we’ll talk to Defcee about those. ● Analyze Horned Monk by August Fanon and Iceberg Theory as well as Bo Jackson by Alchemist and Boldy James.
November 24, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 73-2021’s Best Album Covers w/ Pecue
ATTENDEES Pecue, Keith Rollins, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business ● Talk to Pecue about his approach to the cover art he’s done this year for Brainorchestra, Wrecking Crew, Midaz The Beast, and more. ● Discuss our favorite album covers of 2021 and what makes them work so well
November 13, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 72-Master P: Evolution of a Ringmaster
AGENDA New Business ● Talk about the MC archetype of “The Ringmaster” an MC type that never fully embraces the lyrical supremacy mission but organizes albums to a legendary entertainment level. Who are other examples? ● Study the three formative Master P albums: The Ghetto’s Tryin’ To Kill Me!, Ice Cream Man, and Ghetto D. Analyze the formation of the Ringmaster skills. ● Talk about the influence P’s run had on hip hop.
November 04, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Lord Juco
Lord Juco is relentless. Always releasing projects: eps, singles, albums but this new one is a real culmination. From the production to the verses and guest verses Raised Right is a momentous step forward for the Toronto MC. Dan-O got to talk to his favorite Canadian MC about Guy Ritchie!
October 29, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 71-A Martyr’s Reward w/ Big Flowers and Tokyo Cigar
ATTENDEES Tokyo Cigar, Big Flowers, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Discuss Ka’s new album: A Martyr’s Reward in terms of strengths and growth. Also, in terms of where it sits in the story of 2021 music. ● Talk about Ka’s place in the history of this music and how this album shifts that.
October 29, 2021
State of The Game vol.70-New Nas!
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Discuss Hit Boy x Nas newest release King’s Disease 2 and how it fits next to the original.
October 19, 2021
State of The Game vol. 69: Isaiah Rashad, Tink, and Gabe Nandez
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Talk about what Isaiah Rashad means to TDE as a label and rap in general. Will the market make space for all of these albums? Should it?  ● Assess Isaiah Rashad-The House is Burning, Tink-Heat of The Moment, and Gabe Nandez-Seven.
October 19, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Curly Castro
Curly Castro has always been focused on being the best rapper. After years of work he's coming off an amazing Armand Hammer x Alchemist feature on Haram. His new album Little Robert Hutton is focused and impactful. An unrelenting concept album that never ceases to surprise and bring the best out of everyone. Dan-O talks to him about the history that grounds the album and how it effects us today as well as the elite contributions from others on the project.
October 19, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 68-Nu Musique Summer with Dylan Green
ATTENDEES Dylan Green, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● July 23rd felt like a loaded release week, Dylan Green (curator of the #NuMusiqueFriday newsletter) will walk us through his favorite three releases of the week: EST Gee-Bigger Than Life or Death, Ken Car$on-Project X, and Dave-We’re All Alone in This Together. We will talk about what captured his attention about these. ● We will talk about Kanye and what projects that haven’t come out yet we think will hit very hard. Hype v. legit anticipation will be more of a focus as these release weeks get more and more packed.
October 12, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 67-Beatnuts Legendary 3 Album Run w/ Wally Clark
ATTENDEES Wally Clark, Daniel Olney AGENDA New Business ● Talk to Wally Clark about his newest album Banned From All Bars with Farma Beats and plans for the future. ● Talk about the three album run The Beatnuts had from 1994-1999 and their lasting legacy.
October 06, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Tanya Morgan
Donwill and Von Pea have made Tanya Morgan a successful group for 17 years. In 2021 they released their best album, Don and Von, so Dan-O had to pick their brains; not just about the growth and craft displayed but the journey that brought them here. Gems of industry and artistic wisdom soak every minute of this one. Please stay for the full talk!
October 02, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 66-Rough, Smooth, or Pretty?
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Talk about PremRock-Load Bearing Crow’s Feet, Zelooperz-Van Gogh’s Left Ear, and Snoh Aalegra-Temporary Highs In The Violet Skies in terms of common attributes and meaningful differences. How do we feel about these albums? ● Discuss the texture of albums and the best ways to make rough, smooth, or pretty albums.
September 27, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Alaska Atoms & Jason Griff
Human Zoo is the new album from Def Jux legend Alaska Atoms and Insubordinate Records president and beat magician Jason Griff. They've been working on it for a while and the world has gone to poo at least four times since they started the process. Dan-O got to chop it up with both of them about the delicate balance between holding the world accountable and holding ourselves accountable. Top tier stuff.
September 23, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 65-Tyler and Sault
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins New Business ● Discuss Tyler, The Creator-Call Me If You Get Lost and Sault-Nine  ● Talk about the different approaches in album scale and the success of these projects.
September 23, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 64-Mid Year Review w/ GENG PTP
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins, GENG PTP AGENDA New Business Talk about list culture, the overall themes in music so far in 2021, and what we are looking forward to. Go over the Dan-O’s AOTY list (any important albums left off) and the reason for placements.
September 11, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Adrian Matejka
Nationally acclaimed (Pulitzer Prize nominated) poet Adrian Matejka jumps into the Zoom to talk about his new poetry book Somebody Else Sold The World.  Dan-O and Adrian talk Jack Johnson, writing in real time, romantic poetry, and embracing your strengths.
September 06, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 63-Label Legacy: U Don’t Deserve This Beautiful Art
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins, Darko The Super AGENDA New Business Talk with Darko The Super about plans for the rest of 2021 on UDDTBA. Talk with Darko The Super about important projects that helped build the label's unique personality. ALBUMS TO DISCUSS Life and Times of Big Baby Gandhi  With Bud Ross by Steel Tipped Dove’s  Card Tricks for Dogs by Darko The Super and BLKrKRT MF Grimm McDonald’s Girl with Dean Friedman  Serenget reissue and Saal  Tone Tank & Scott Thorough
September 06, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Zilla Rocca
One of the first things you think of when you think Philly, Zilla has been making music for fifteen years. He's now an important podcaster as well. His new album Vegas Vic is out now and it is different from previous projects in important ways. Zilla is the kind of dude who gives great advice, breaks things down to the elemental. Dan-O had to talk to him about roll outs and industry trends as well as the evolution of Wrecking Crew. All Zilla fans will love this one.
August 31, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 62-Black Lemore’s Fundamental Music
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Black Lemore AGENDA New Business Talk to Black Lemore about the 2018 album Something Random and what went into making it. What are plans for future releases looking like? Talk about Lupe Fiasco-The Cool, Kanye West-Late Registration, and Jay-Z (No ID)-4:44.
August 30, 2021
State of The Game Vol.61-Punk Rock You Need to Hear with Jason Griff
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins, Jason Griff AGENDA New Business Talk about the new album Fireside Chats by Jason Griff and the decision to lean into Punk samples and fully embrace it. Why aren’t more people sampling Punk? Talk about Dillinger Four-Midwestern Songs of The America’s, Apocalypse Hoboken-House of the Rising Son of a Bitch, Propagandhi-Less Talk More Rock and what makes these albums special.
August 30, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Andrew
One of 2021's most unique and masterfully sequenced albums is POP 1967. Andrew sang, rapped and produced all but some guest spots from friends. The album and his EP follow up Manual Labor put him in the spotlight in a way he hasn't been before. Dan-O talks to Andrew about Elliott Smith, Black Thought, working with Darko The Super, Ialive, organizing releases through COVID, the resonance of Fiona Apple and how important it is to just always keep writing.
August 22, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 60-Mach Hommy, King Micah & MIGHTYHEALTHY, and Navy Blue
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Discuss album missions. How do you fully realize it and how do you let your audience know what it is without telegraphing your points? ● Talk about Mach Hommy-Pray For Haiti, Navy Blue-Navy’s Reprise, King Micah The Infamous & MIGHTYHEALTHY-KINGMIGHTY 2.
August 22, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 59-Mixtape Treasures w/ E from Next Movement Podcast
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins, E from The Next Movement Podcast AGENDA New Business ● Discuss three mixtapes(Jay Ant-Blue Money, Freddie Gibbs-Cold Day in Hell, and Donnis-Fashionably Late) from the mixtape era in terms of quality and how the world of music today carries pieces of this or has left them behind. ● Talk about the overall mission of the mixtape era and what it taught the world of music.
August 22, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-UDABABY
Davis The Dorchester Bully is a lyricist not to be played with and Josh Virtue is a talent in so many directions, an color always shifting into different shades. Together they form UDABABY and delivered a fun, thoughtful, musical experience in their self-titled debut. Dan-O locked in with them and found out some incredible things about the journey of this album and Hurricane Carter!
August 13, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 58-Your Personality IS The Music
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Interesting people bring flavor to conversations they are in. Some special artists are able to infuse that flavor into every level of their music, so when digested it's completely unique. Look at the albums for this week and assess how these personalities shape the music. ● Critique Jah Monte-Too Little, Too Late, Andrew-POP 1967, and Sekwence-I Feel Like Billy Hoyle 4 in terms of strengths/weaknesses and opportunities for the music to grow.
August 13, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 57-Most Important EP’s of 2021
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● What is the purpose of an EP? Should an EP that’s too good just have been an album? 2021 has had a few really high level EP’s. ● Discuss The Lightwork EP produced by Roper Williams by AKAI SOLO and YL, Taurus EP by lojii, With The Shifts by maasai, God Goku Jay-z by J.U.S in terms of their purpose and success or lack of.
August 13, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 56-The Artist of The Unbound Function
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Talk about the defining traits and history of the artist of the unbound function. ● Analyze Cities Aviv-The Crashing Sound of How It Goes & Big Flowers-Big Smile through this lens.
July 31, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Flashius Clayton
Flashius Clayton has been lighting tracks on fire for years; handing in legendary features, working with the best producers, and as good as he's been The Dust Diary is a new chamber. Dan-O got to talk with him about the power of sitting with your work/editing, producing, the greatness of Hunter Thompson and Flash played us some unreleased tracks that will make you rewind!
July 31, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 55-Warmth
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business Discuss the new Brockhampton album (Roadrunner: New Light, New Machine) and Abstractions by Zo! & Tall Black Guy in terms of what these albums bring to the table that are special. Talk about creating warmth in your music. What are the benefits? How do you do it? How do you sustain it?
July 24, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 54-What should the label compilation accomplish? with The Rap Music Plug
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins, The Rap Music Plug AGENDA New Business Talk to Rohan about the review he wrote of Mello Music Groups label compilation release-Bushido. What does the rest of 2021 look like for the label? Compare Bushido against two other label compilations (Ryde or Die Vol. 1 and Anticon Label Sampler 1999-2004). How do the goals of an underground label sampler differ from a major label one? Is it essentially the same mission?
July 24, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-YL
Super easy-going conversation with YL about making albums unique, the greatness of his partners, this era or NY rap, and staying in your own creative zone. If you thought of YL as a slick individual who knows himself, good call!
July 24, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 53-DJ Polo & Kool G Rap legendary 3 album run
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business ● Discuss the legendary 3 consecutive album run by Kool G Rap and DJ Polo(Road to Riches, Wanted: Dead or Alive, and Live and Let Die).  ● Where do we see the effect of these albums on rap?
July 16, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 52-Haram! with Emily Ellis
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins, Emily Ellis AGENDA New Business ● Evaluate the new Armand Hammer album Haram. ● How does the visibility that comes with an Alchemist project potentially change the Armand Hammer experience? Does their sound adjust to the mainstream or vice versa?
July 16, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Lukah
A thorough conversation covering the spirit of Memphis rap, the all time importance of Cities Aviv, building your voice and protecting it, and the importance of a trailblazing team you can trust. Lukah's-When The Black Hand Touches You is one of the years best albums! Catch up and stay up.
July 10, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 51-BARS! with Bloodmoney Perez
ATTENDEES Bloodmoney Perez, Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins  AGENDA  New Business  ● Analyze Benny The Butcher x Harry Fraud-The Plugs I Met 2, Nappy Nina x J Words-Double Down, and I Self Devine x Orko Eloheim-Rituals of Resilience in terms of lyrical strength and overall album listenability.  ● What are you looking for in lyricism? Punch lines, personal content, political/world analysis? What is the comparative value of these different forms of lyricism?
July 10, 2021
State of The Game Vol 50-Pop Music, You Alright?
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business Assess the three albums: L.W. by King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard, The Moon and The Stars by Valerie June, and Tasjan!Tasjan!Tasjan! By Aaron Lee Tasjan. Talk about how Pop Music will adapt to the changing COVID/post-COVID landscape of 2021.
July 10, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-King Micah The Infamous & MIGHTYHEALTHY
KINGMIGHTY 2 is one of the best rap sequels. Dan-O talks to the producer (MIGHTYHEALTHY) and the rapper(King Micah The Infamous) about the statement they wanted to make and how expanding the world of the first project pushed them to new creative heights.
July 01, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 49-Presentation of pain
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins AGENDA New Business Assess Dj Muggs x Rome Streetz-Death & The Magician, Sleep Sinatra x Ed Glorious-Sleep Gloriously, and Mal Devisa-Wisdom Teeth. Compare how these albums choose to showcase painful content.
June 29, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 48-RIP Eyedea w/ Duncecap
ATTENDEES Daniel Olney, Keith Rollins, Duncecap AGENDA New Business Discuss Eyedea’s key albums First Born, E & A, and By The Throat. Elaborate on the lasting legacy of Eyedea’s work.
June 29, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-DøøF
An interview like none other in FME history. DøøF talks about falling in love with Madlib's sound, truth in comedy, and kicks the linear nature of interviews wide open. Dan-O falls right into the groove and the two have a great time. MEET DøøF's DOG!
June 26, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 47-The Bullpen
ATTENDEES‌ ‌ Daniel‌ ‌Olney,‌ ‌Keith‌ ‌Rollins‌ ‌ PREMISE‌ ‌ 1.In‌ ‌Baseball‌ ‌if‌ ‌you‌ ‌don’t‌ ‌start‌ ‌the‌ ‌game,‌ ‌you're‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌bullpen.‌ ‌Every‌ ‌ inning‌ ‌you‌ ‌get‌ ‌a‌ ‌chance‌ ‌to‌ ‌take‌ ‌the‌ ‌mound‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌win‌ ‌but‌ ‌you‌ ‌also‌ ‌ have‌ ‌to‌ ‌grow.‌ ‌The‌ ‌bullpen‌ ‌is‌ ‌full‌ ‌of‌ ‌old‌ ‌vets‌ ‌who‌ ‌can‌ ‌still‌ ‌contribute‌ ‌ as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌young‌ ‌arms‌ ‌trying‌ ‌to‌ ‌develop‌ ‌into‌ ‌aces.‌ ‌The‌ ‌team‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌ best‌ ‌bullpen‌ ‌is‌ ‌always‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌best‌ ‌position‌ ‌to‌ ‌win,‌ ‌right‌ ‌now‌ ‌this‌ ‌is‌ ‌my‌ ‌ listening‌ ‌bullpen.‌ ‌ ‌ Albums discussed:  YL-Jesus is My Homeboy Dat Boi Vic-The Almighty Pen Henny L.O.-Ree Louis
June 26, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 46-Judas and The Black Messiah aka what we want from the Hip Hop soundtrack
AGENDA  New Business Discuss Judas and The Black Messiah soundtrack and our takeaways from it. What are your favorite hip hop soundtracks? What makes them top level? (Above The Rim, Friday, Judgement Night, Black Panther, Spider-Man: Enter The Spiderverse)
June 26, 2021
Sleep Sinatra Summit with The Rap Music Plug and CamoBucketHats
Sleep Sinatra has put out three projects before 2021 is half way. All of them well crafted and his contribution to music this year deserves in depth analysis. The Rap Music Plug, CamoBucketHats & Dan-O come together to pay tribute to the experience of DIVINENATION and what Sleep has taught us this year.
June 19, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-ialive
ialive has been knocking out top notch hip hop production, rapping, etc for 10 years strong. He announced a project under the name Donovan Days that will undoubtedly change the course of his career. Dan-O picks his brain about violence in America, the amazing cast of characters on his producer album I'll Wait Forever. To go from producing hip hop to singing, playing bass and guitar on your own Psych Rock diagnosis of our times is a massive artistic jump and digging into that state of mind is incredibly rewarding. Enjoy!
June 19, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 45-Pac Div v. Cool Kids SUPERSWAGGER
AGENDA New Business ● Take a look at Pac Div’s music in comparison to The Cool Kids. What are the similarities? What are the differences? ● Each group has important traditional releases as well as mixtapes so we will listen to 1 mixtape and 1 important album from each. ● How do we hear the downstream effects of these groups or how do we miss their influence?
June 19, 2021
State of The Game Vol.44-Monch, Caution and Hus with The Rap Music Plug
AGENDA  New Business  ● Discuss three specific album releases: Pharoahe Monch-A Magnificent Day for An Exorcism, Nyck Caution-Anywhere But Here, Hus Kingpin-Portishus. Talk about these albums in terms of strengths, weaknesses, and impact.  ● Compare and contrast the decision making involved in these albums. What was the artist's mission? Did they succeed?
June 19, 2021
FME Killah Priest Roundtable with Fatboi Sharif and Curly Castro
Two of the sharpest lyrical swordsman in the world (Fatboi Sharif & Curly Castro) join Dan O for the perfect tribute to Killah Priest. The conversation is in depth about his influence on the genre, his career, his methods and dedication to the writing. While the serious work of breaking down his intimidating career takes place a lot of laughter and fun goes along with it. Castro discusses his feature verse on Armand Hammer x Alchemist album Haram.
June 13, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 43-Blue Eyed Women of Soul w/ D.L.
Co-Founder of Freemusicempire D.L. comes back to talk classic albums that changed the game. Along with Dan-O and K Diggy they ● Define Blue Eyed Soul ● Talk about the history and how it links to music today. ● Discuss three important album examples (Carole King-Tapestry, Dusty Springfield-Dusty In Memphis, Laura Nyro-Gonna Take A Miracle)
June 13, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 42-2015 CANON CANDIDATES
Each host nominates 3 album candidates from 2015 to add to the canon. Together we collectively decide on 1 nominee each to move forward. Albums discussed:  Kacey Musgraves-Pageant Material JD McPherson-Let The Good Times Roll Dram-#1Epic & Gahdamn AND MORE! 
June 13, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-PRO ZAY
Blood Stained Pages is a new level for PRO ZAY.  During this interview with Dan-O he was every bit as raw as the verses he spits. The discussion covers the greatness of the producers and guests on the album as well as the vastness of Texas. Very few people get to believe in what their doing as much as PRO ZAY does.
June 05, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 41-The Voice and Legacy of Devin The Dude FEATURING Fat Tony
Indie Rap Texas superstar Fat Tony came on to talk with K Diggy and Dan-O about the three albums that established Devin The Dude's voice and his ongoing legacy. This was boatloads of fun for all!
June 05, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Big Flowers
Big Flowers is a designer, collage artist, and fantastic rapper. His album Big Smile is one of the years brightest moments. This conversation builds off of FME #StateofTheGame weekly discussion about his album where artists who don't value consistency as much as freshness are discussed as Artists of The Unbound Function. That topic and many many more are feverishly explored. Dan-O hangs in for the ride!
June 02, 2021
State of The Game Vol.40-Late Year Entries
Give appropriate focus on albums that came out too late for us to focus on them during 2020. Do these albums showcase things that 2021 will build on? Albums discussed:  Moor Mother x Billy Woods=Brass Navy Blue=Song of Sage: Post Panic! Outlaw Mel=Dallas, Texxxas
June 02, 2021
FME Roots Roundtable with Zilla Rocca and Rob from Next Movement Pod
The Roots have twenty years of output and that kind of longevity can be confusing for new listeners or just generally harder to put into perspective. FME gathered the best minds to talk about the defining eras and the redefined eras, from album to album. How the group shifted...what worked and what didn't. Zilla Rocca and Rob are in Philly. They speak on the group with expertise as well as the character of the city.  Things went very deep! 
May 30, 2021
State of The Game Vol 39 AOTY p.2 1-25
Part 2! Looking at 2020's best 25 albums and dissecting them, K Diggy and Dan-O spend time talking about how to make a year end list before making the case for each album at each position. It's about design and then its about the bulletproof top ten!
May 27, 2021
State of The Game Vol 38 AOTY 2020 p 1 50 26
K Diggy asks meaningful, probing questions about Dan-O's AOTY list from 50-26. Rap, Pop, Jazz, Salsapunk are all present and accounted for as 2020 has been a packed year for music releases.
May 27, 2021
FME Attention Undivided Defcee
A sit down with one of the finest emcees going. This is a full exploration of the journey Defcee took to get here as well as what his future looks like. A raw, beautiful interview. 
May 22, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Fatboi Sharif
Roper Williams and Fatboi Sharif worked for years crafting the world of Gandhi Loves Children. The result: an experience still shaking the indie rap world. The funny and intelligent Sharif digs into his creative process with Dan-O as well as Lil Wayne(wait till you hear his favorite album!),the components of a bad album, and dream collaborations.
May 22, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 37-Man On The Moon 1-3
Talk about what makes each volume of Man On The Moon important and unique musically. Dissect the general influence of the series and specific influence of the albums and songs. Albums discussed: Man on the Moon: The End of Day  Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager  Man on the Moon III: The Chosen
May 19, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 36: The Art of Intentionality
● Talk about three albums that are completely different in tone and intention assessing levels of success. ● Figure out how to tell intention from the albums discussed, what to look for. Albums discussed:  ● Rico Nasty-Nightmare Vacation.  ● Your Old Droog-Dump YOD: Krutoy Edition.  ● Elujay and J.Robb-Gems In The Cornerstore. 
May 19, 2021
State of The Game Vol.35-Label Legacy-Def Jux
Look for shared musical values that defined the Def Jux character and how we experience them today. Dan-O and K Diggy discuss the top tier of Jux albums below:  Cannibal Ox-Cold Vein Aesop Rock-Labor Days Murs 3:16: The 9th Edition
May 15, 2021
State of The Game Vol.34-Evolution of Megan
Discuss Megan Thee Stallion’s debut album Good News. Was it successful or is the support for Megan transcending the music? Dan-O and K Diggy chart the evolution of Meg through her projects: Good News, Fever, Tina Snow.
May 15, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 33-Flow study 1998-1999
Take a look at three very different very important albums from 1998-1999. Isolate what makes these flows so unique and how that informs the total listening experience. Dan-O and K Diggy discuss the below albums:  Aceyalone-A Book of Human Language N.O.R.E.-Melvin Flynt Da Hustler The High & Mighty-Home Field Advantage
May 15, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 32-UK rap 2020
Assess 2 UK pop rap albums from 2020. Assess 2 UK underground rap albums from 2020. K Diggy and Dan-O discuss these albums- Headie One -Edna Bree Runway-2000AND4EVA SonnyJim x Must Volkoff-Taylor Made Ostrich Leafdog-Live From The Balrog Chamber
May 15, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 31-THE EVENT: Ariana, Busta, and Wizkid
What are the basic properties of an event album? Have they changed in 2020? Dan-O and K Diggy talk about these albums:  Ariana Grande-Positions Busta Rhymes-Extinction Level Event 2: Wrath of God Wizkid-Made In Lagos
May 15, 2021
State of The Game Vol. 30-A Unique Approach
How does an artist with a left field perspective or sound create a place for themselves in the marketplace? K Diggy and Dan-O discuss these albums:  Fat Tony-Exotica Dej Loaf-Sell Sole II Junglepussy-JP4 Zilla Rocca and Ray West-Rowhouse Whispers.
May 15, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Alex Ludovico & Jason Griff
Insubordinate Records made a huge splash in 2020! It was all in preparation for the developing producer-rapper relationship of Alex Ludovico and Jason Griff. While they are dropping their album later they just put out an EP called ThreeOneTwo. I got a chance to talk to them both about the legacy of Scorcese Lorde Jones, masculinity in hip hop, Indiana stories, and how much we love Fiend!!
May 13, 2021
FME Attention Undivided-Sleep Sinatra
A game changing interview for Freemusicempire. Sleep is growing by leaps and bounds on every project into the kind of artist that is Dan-O's favorite. In the introduction Dan-O describes him as "on the spectrum between AZ and Gil Scott Heron" and he's not joking.
May 09, 2021
Bloodmoney has lived several rap lives. He's moved met and linked up with some of the BEST talent in hip hop. His music booms and seethes with frustration. His taste lingers on the ill outsiders which has allowed him to review, seek out and befriend artists before they make a big name. Dan-O talks to him about iconic voices in the genre, the power of emotion in hip hop, #TheWatchers​, and Backwoodz Studioz careful construction. He gets as excited talking about his work as he does Biggie, Scorcese Lorde Jones, Messiah Musik, or Skech185. Bloodmoney lives and breathes the music in a way that is truly intoxicating. Press play and prepare to take notes.
May 09, 2021